Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy

Robert W. McChesney. The New Press, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59558-867-8
Filtering the internet through a lens of political economy and free-market capitalism, acclaimed author and University of Illinois professor McChesney (Rich Media, Poor Democracy) presents a thorough and alarming critique of the corruption of one of the most influential inventions in human history. "People thought the Internet would be... a non-commercial zone, a genuine public sphere, leading to far greater public awareness, stronger communities, and greater political participation," McChesney observes. "To the contrary... the internet has been commercialized, copyrighted, patented, privatized, data-inspected, and monopolized." He deconstructs capitalism through its historical trends before painting a grim portrait of corporate concentration and monopolization; it reads like dystopian science-fiction where giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon further entrench their market dominance, attempting to own consumers' "every waking moment," aided and abetted by lax government enforcement and deregulation. Such concentrated power brings with it a host of concerns; however, as McChesney cites, very little public opposition to such power can be expected as, "people care more about what unjustly harms them than what unjustly benefits them." Instead, we face the very real possibility of discovering the "digital revolution... to have been a revolution in name only"; the consequences of which are already revealing themselves. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.